6 Software Developer Soft Skills Every Engineer Needs
Software development is a team game and every member plays their own role. People need to work together and achieve common goals to produce something of true value. This, of course, requires team members to possess skills and competencies to effectively perform their tasks.
Yes, hard skills are crucial for any software developer out there but they are not the only thing that’s important for the industry that heavily relies on teamwork. As a result, soft skills are highly valued by software development companies and IT soft skills training is a common practice among businesses that are really keen on developing their human capital.
Similarly to higher education, soft skills can be taught, trained, and perfected. This may require time and personal resources, but the investment in developing these skills will result in significant personal and professional growth.
That’s why DuoKnows experts decided to provide you with this educational piece with tips and tricks to save your precious time and assist aspiring future software developers with developing their soft skills.
Must-have soft skills for beginner software developers
While it is possible to highlight lots (and we mean “lots”) of soft skills that play their role for software engineers, here are top 6 worth focusing on to become a great professional.
This soft skill is of paramount importance for any student out there. Thankfully, colleges and other educational institutions actively promote the development of this skill, which is also crucial in the software development industry, especially for an engineer. After all, computer science is based on the use of algorithms, rules, and procedures to solve problems, and critical thinking is what allows a person to effectively tackle complex issues.
For a software developer, critical thinking is basically an ability to look at the big picture and identify problems from all possible angles. Every project has numerous branches and it is possible to encounter issues both inside and outside coding. That’s why the ability to think critically is what defines a great programmer.
Yes, this is a buzzword and a no-brainer; however, communication is something unavoidable for software developers. Let’s just consider the fact that engineers have to attend some Scrum meetings or interact with clients. Communication is an important part of soft skills for software engineers because they need to effectively explain all the technical work they perform.
Sometimes, your manager might not know specifically what you’ve done for the product and the client may be oblivious to the importance of your contribution! Even more, you have to know how to approach your colleagues and explain the logic behind your code to other developers, testers, and managers. That’s why communication skills can really grease the cogs and improve team collaboration.
Now, this soft skill might be a little surprising as how does empathy fit into software development? Well, it’s a quite critical soft skill for developers for several reasons. First of all, a good software engineer needs to understand the client’s point of view and their vision for the product. Secondly, imagine a scenario where a developer enters an ongoing project and has to get in touch with its flow or specifics. Empathy is a key element that allows a person to put themselves in someone else’s shoes to grasp their understanding of the code.
Time management is a critical skill for software developers, just as much as for students. Students have to provide their assignments on time and a similar concept applies to software engineers, who have to report completed tasks to their managers and other stakeholders. Clients operate within strict deadlines and budgets, and the ability to adhere to these limitations is crucial.
Software developers are creating products that have to captivate end users. That’s why creativity is of high importance for an engineer. The ability to find ways to creatively apply current technology or develop a new one is often the determining factor for a potential client who is choosing a team to work with.
This soft skill ties nicely with all the previously mentioned ones. We’re living in an ever-changing world where new technologies pop up every day. A great developer has to adopt the mindset of an eternal student – study and stay up-to-date with the latest trends to deliver great results! Furthermore, software engineers encounter clients who can change their ideas or opinions on the fly – adaptability plays a role in such situations as well.
The ability to adapt goes along with being able to get uncomfortable and face uncertainty. As it is hard to predict what will happen tomorrow, being prepared is great but adaptability is extremely useful. Professional life outside college is littered with situations that we just aren’t able to control, but we can adapt.
How fresh software developers can improve their soft skills
How can a student improve their soft skills? There are several proven “techniques” that go a long way and you can start using them at college:
- Identify areas that need improvement – it is important to believe in yourself but recognize if there’s room for becoming better. Try reflecting on your team-related activities to find out areas for improvement;
- Set goals and priorities – after identifying soft skills that might need some additional work, perform something similar to a personal SWOT analysis to prioritize what soft skills will play a more important role for you as a future software engineer;
- Actively communicate – communication is like a muscle that becomes stronger the longer you work on it. As it happens, communication is also a large part of any software developer’s work, and keeping this muscle in shape will benefit other soft skills;
- Look for feedback – having access to a perspective from a colleague, mentor, or other person is a powerful instrument for assessing the level of your soft skills. That’s why asking someone for constructive criticism will give you clarity in terms of what should be done to become a better software developer in the future.
Soft skills are of high importance for an aspiring software engineer and students working their way to becoming one should emphasize developing them. With these 6 must-have soft skills covered, you can considerably improve your chances of landing a dream job.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your soft skills and need academic assistance to relieve pressure, DuoKnows is here to help with personalized academic solutions! Contact our specialists for a consultation from top experts in the field of your interest.